Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Forever In Blue by Ann Brashares

The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood is Ann Brashares last entry in her remarkable Traveling Pants series. It's somewhat bittersweet to read the novel knowing that while the girls are just begining their biggest adventures we, the readers, are saying farewell. Still, that's no reason to delay picking it up. The quartet have lost none of their magic, and continue to feel like real, conflicted young women as well as intimate friends of anyone who steps into their world.

Bee has always been my favorite character and comes full circle in this last novel. Facing and confronting the same impulses that devastated her in the first book, Bee is the first of the friends to face her adulthood. Though Baily's story could break anyone's heart I have always found Tibby to be a little frustrating and this last summer is no exception. Beautiful Lena grows a spine, and Carmen loses hers for a little while as they face college, friends and families that do not remain the same. Carmen's tale is probably the most poignant this time, and perhaps the most rewarding.

These magical tales of traveling pants are not just for teenagers. At 33 I identified just as strongly with various moments of each book as I would have fifteen years ago. Not only are the girls wise, but the issues they face - and the feelings those issues provoke! - are timeless. If you want to treat yourself to a really good book or four, these should be at the top of your list. Go ahead and buy them; once you've experienced the friendship within you will keep coming back for more.